Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is a condition where the brain and one eye do not communicate properly. Common symptoms include a wandering eye, eyes that look in different directions, crossed eyes, poor vision in one eye, or poor depth perception.
An estimated 6 percent of children of preschool age have lazy eye or conditions that put them at risk for lazy eye. Because lazy eye is such a critical condition, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force advises parents to have their children screened for lazy eye before they reach the age of five. Ideally, screening should be done between 3 and 5 years of age. This is a revision from the 2011 recommendations.
If lazy eye is not treated by the time a child is between the ages of 6 and 8, vision is generally permanently affected. Dr. Alex Kemper of Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C. and task force member says, “Identification of vision abnormalities in preschool-aged children allows the abnormality to be corrected while the brain is still developing, which can prevent permanent vision loss.”
The task force continues to discuss whether lazy eye screening should be done before the age of 3, but there is not enough research available to make this determination. If you have questions regarding lazy eye, please make an appointment with your eye care professional to have your child examined. A comprehensive eye exam includes evaluation for amblyopia, so call today to schedule a visit (Source: US News).